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perks of congressional service from the sunlight foundation on transparency. later, national journal senior correspondent talks about president obama's foreign policy agenda. "washington journal" is next. host: good morning. a live view of the u.s. capitol on this sunday morning. the president and first family returning midmorning following their vacation in hawaii. it was interrupted for the president as he returned to washington for the new year's holiday to deal with the fiscal cliff issues. it is sunday january 6. tomorrow we expect to have the president's nominee to replace lee on panetta as defense secretary chuck hagel one of a number of cabinet nominations the senate will take up including treasury and defense
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secretary and secretary of state. we heard treasury geithner will leave his position by the end of this month. the debate has renewed on sunday morning and around the country on gun violence. we want to ask you just what are the solutions? it is an issue the president says will be a top priority in the year ahead. our gone lines are open with the numbers on the screen. you can send us an e-mail at journal at or or cspanwj. another shooting that took place in aurora, colorado, a town hit by the mass shooting at a movie theatre. this from a barricaded gunman
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and three people found dead in aurora after police exchanged gunfire with the gunman that took place yesterday. a woman earlier in the day escaped uninjured from the home saying she saw three lifeless bodies inside and said the man was firing shots at the residents before 3:00 in the morni morning. during a subsequent standoff the gunman behaved irrationally, ignored commands to exit the premises. tear gas didn't faze him. five hours into the incident a swat team with an armored vehicle broke in and he fired on the vehicle without injuring police officers. police didn't return fire at the time but three found dead. the gunman was later killed by police officers. page of the front "washington post" the larger debate over gun violence. based on some reporting by phillip rutger a broad strategy on guns is being weighed. we will share what they are saying. the white house is weighing a far broader and more
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comprehensive approach to curbing the nation's gun violence than reinstating the expired ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition according to multiple people involved in the administration as discussions. the working group led by the vice president joe baden seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders including the following. require universal background collection for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national data base. strengthen mental health collection and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors. the white house is developing strategies to work around the night rifle association including rally support from wal-mart and other key retailers that sell guns en masse. so the headline a broad strategy being weighed on guns. we go back to the debate with the executive vice president of the n.r.a. as he spoke to reporters following the shooting
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in newtown, connecticut, which he says should be a broad solution. [video clip] >> is the press and political class here in washington, d.c. so consumed by fear and hatred of the n.r.a. and american gun owners that you are willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is alone, unarmed, school principal left to surrender her life -- her life -- to shield children in her care? no one, regardless of personal, political project dis, -- prejudice, has the right to impose that sacrifice. ladies and gentlemen, there's no national one size fits all solution to protecting our
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childr children. but do know this president zeroed out school of urgency planning grants in last year's bucket and scrapped secure our schools policing grants in next year's budget. with all of the foreign aid the united states does, with all the money in the federal budget, can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school? even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the raoeigh right, ability and moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm. host: from the december 21 hearing in washington at the willard hotel wayne lapierre who is the face of the n.r.a. who spoke to the reporters in about a 25-minute speech.
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some weighing in on the facebook page. the question is what are the solutions with regard to gun violence? scott says military full automatic weapons already are illegal and kurt says there is no government solution. has this to say. these gun laws will not solve anything. it controls 99.9% of the rest of us who are not doing anything wrong. mark is joining us from allentown, pennsylvania. independent line. caller: hi, how are you doing. i want to say that as much as i enjoy my gun rights i don't totally agree with wayne lapierre. as a matter of fact, i stay out of the n.r.a. because it is more political than protecting my rights, in my opinion. but i do feel that these outleft-handish attacks on -- outland i outlandish attacks on gun owners and my enjoyment they want to
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get rid of assault rifles. i have to say a bolt action and se rifle are two different things. when i shoot i enjoy shooting with a semiauto so my shoulder doesn't get broke. i'm not a hunter but i do enjoy shooting. i enjoy protecting myself and having the right to but that is my responsibility. host: how do you strike the balance? clearly you are right in the second amendment rights of the constitution. caller: i was just about to get that if i own a gun i can disarm it. that was the mother's gupn that her mother killed her with. i don't put mine in a case and if i did i would be smart enough to disable it if someone couldn't use it. it is personal responsibility but i don't see the n.r.a. going
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after that. it is strictly that i can own my gun and keep in but there has to be personal responsibility and i don't think it was followed and i don't think my rights should be heard because somebody doesn't follow personal responsibility. host: thanks for the call. this is from the "new york post," not again, aurora beginning with a crazed gunman killing three before cops so the him dead in a colorado house near the scene from last july's "dark knight rises" mass murder. there's a follow-up piece for the ends of the article from the "new york post" that says the mass shooting comes ahead of an emotional week of testimony that will take place in colorado starting tomorrow to determine if james holmes will stand trial for killing 12 and wounding another 70 at the century 16 theatre. prosecutors will be playing the 911 calls and show about 30 hours of footage from inside the cinema. holmes is charged with 166
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counts including murder and attempted murder. the theatre is expected to reopen january 17. the question we are asking gun violence in america, what are the solutions. earl joins us from burlington, massachusetts. caller: i had a thought that has crossed my mind regarding guns and why would it not be possible for any guns manufactured to ha have, for instance, a video camera and tracking device on every gun? that would enable any gun, if they can give you a card that will turn off, you know, make your payment and track your phone, why could not this device be put into a gun and activated camera when it is listed to video whatever action that occurred with that gun? it is a thought. i'm just trying to figure out
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how we can remedy this heinous problem. host: let me go inside the "washington post," the story available on the "washington post" website. this is from the jump page white house weighing in broad agenda on guns. the push is just one part of an ambitious political agenda that the president has pledged to pursue after his decisive re-election victory in november. further into the body of the story the white house is developing strategies to navigate through the rocky and emotional fraud terrain of gun politi politics. once the final policy decisions are made the administration is talking with a diverse ray of interest groups including religious leaders, mental health professionals and hunters to build a broad coalition as possible. and his advisors have calculated that the longer they wait the more distance from the newtown massacre and greater risk that
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the bipartisan political will to tackle gun violence will dissipate. next call is kerry on the republican line from hagerstown, maryland. what are the solutions, kerry? caller: well, i don't think there is any set solution. i think we have to look at the fact that as in a d.u.i. blame the alcohol or blame the vehicle. it is the individual. there will be individuals that do this regardless. if they are using this as an agenda to control guns, any time there's been proven gun control in our history there's been a persecution of people. world war ii we can look at any time in history that is a proven factor. we need to look at why they are doing this. what is the rationale behind our government wanting to enforce this. it is a smoke screen, the media is responsible for it. there's been a miscommunication facts are. raoeal
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host: from politico gabby giffords talking to connecticut politicians the former arizona representative friday meeting with politicians and families of the victims in a visit to newtown where the deadly shooting occurred. giffords was shot and wounded in january of 2011 and met with senator richard blumenthal and connecticut's lieutenant governor and first selectman. they met at a private residence with families of some of those who died at sandy hook which left 26 dead including 20 children. giffords was accompanied by her husband mark kelly. next call is from midland, texas, mary is on the phone. good morning. caller: good morning. i can't hear you. host: you are on the air. go ahead. caller: i don't think there is a
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solution to this. the government has never found a solution. to any problem like this. the alcohol problem or any other problem. my life was saved twice by carrying a gun in my car. host: how so? caller: well, the first time was in 1987. i was driving from fort worth to oklahoma city, and this man from falls came up to the side of me and made obscene gestures and tried to run me off the road. i just pulled my gun out from underneath the seat and i showed it to him and he left me alone. secondly, i was out at the park practicing golf and this young man came up and started to
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threaten me. i walked over to my car and i knew that i was in danger and strapped on my gun, which is in a pack. and when he started toward me i was picking up my golf balls, i pulled my gun out and i pointed it at him and he turned around and left. host: nobody is going to fool with you, huh? host: no, they are not. i have a concealed gun and i know how to use it and i think most people are well trained to carry guns. host: thanks for the call. during an interview on nbc's "meet the press" with david gregory the issue focused on fiscal cliff but also gun violence. as the president said the day of the newtown massacre was the worst day of his presidency. here is a portion of the interview that aired about a week and a half ago. [video clip] >> do you have the stomach for the political fight for new gun
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control laws? >> i think anybody who was up in newtown who talked to parents and families understands that something fundamental in america has to change. and all of us have to do some soul searching including me as president, that we allow a situation in which 20 precious, small children are getting gunned down in a classroom. i have been very clear that assault rifle ban, banning these high capacity clips, background checks, that there are a set of issues that i have historically supported and will continue to support. >> but can you get it done? >> so the question is, are we going to be able to have a national conversation and move something through congress? i would like to get it done in
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the first year. i will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that joe biden's task force is putting together as we speak. so, this is not something that i will be putting off. host: the president in an interview on "meet the press" as he talked about the issue of gun violence. angus is joining us democrat line from vienna, maryland. caller: it would be great to own guns and assault rifles and whatever else you might want to own. but then our government should step in and apply the bullet. when i go deer hunting and have the amount of deers that i can kill so if i have an assault rifle don't let those bullets be sold for that rifle until i go to a gun range where i can shoot them and when i leave that range make sure all bullets are left there and then when i'm home i won't have no way of going out
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killing people. when an assault rifle or any kind of rifle. when i'm hunting, only have enough tips to shoot a deer. if i only can shoot five deers let me go with five bullets. that would be a great solution for all gun owners and people that want to go out and kill people. host: you can join us on the facebook page. we are asking you about gun violence. what are the solutions. many already are weighing in and sharing their comments with and listeners on c-span radio. fox news has a story about gun violence with regard to chicago. this is the headline. chicago has one of the toughest gun laws in the country and also leads the nation in gun violence. john is joining us from you a clai claire, did eau claire,
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wisconsin. caller: i'm an n.r.a. member and i have concealed weapons. you cannot register guns. that is one thing they will push for. everybody will go underground. the guns will just disappear. second of all, if anybody knows history, the semiautomatic weapon has been in this country over 100 years. they are talking like it is a new item. one other thing, when the m-1 carbine was developed in prison 1940's.anyone 40tphepanyonehe - so people are not going to want to register their guns or register themselves in any way. host: "washington post" the white house is looking at solutions a broads strategy on gun violence in america. a responsible solution will
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emerge when the n.r.a. is no longer a lobbyist for the manufacturers of semiautomatic weapons. david joins from alma, georgia, independent line. caller: good morning. host: go ahead, please. caller: people talk about gun laws and all that. and the way i look at it, it was said years ago a armed society is a quiet society and we've got to where we are at a point where nobody wants to take personal responsibility for anything they do. they want to find a scapegoat and right now they are using assault weapons and you take guns away that are used by people and take knives they will go back to using rocks. until we have laws that will severely punish those that use guns and -- in a crime we are spinning our wheels. we have to get people together
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to understand that they have to start taking personal responsibility. host: david, thanks for the call. i will go back to the story in a number of other websites framed the final portion of the piece on the larger debate of gun violence in america some solutions by a number of members including dianne feinstein who co-wrote the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. she plans to introduce legislation this month that would ban the sale or manufacture of about 120 firearms including semiautomatic weapons, military style handguns and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. it prohibited the manufacturing f 19 models of semi automatautc guns classified as assault weapons including certain rifles and shotguns. it banned ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds but didn't ban the sale of previously manufactured
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assault weapons or high capacity magazines. on this sunday morning, gun violence, what are the solutions. larry joins us from tennessee. go ahead. caller: if god created man in his own image why can't we figure out who added the assault weapons? when did the n.r.a. become part of the d.n.a.? we said we grew up with nothing to fear but fear itself and every truck with no fear signs on it but most of my republican friends are scared of everything. and the guy talked about sticks and rocks. go into a school and try killing 26 people with pointed stick, idiot. host: many weighing in on the twitter page as well. it is cspanwj. oversays assault weapons are designed to kill people. they are not grandpa's deer rifle.
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bobby williams responding on the facebook page saying the current legislation authorized by senator feinstein will be the building blocks for very strict laws. if you look at social media there seems to be overwhelming support of maintaining the current gun laws and working with each other to make the country safer. next caller is dwayne from utica, michigan, republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead. caller: guns, you have to -- i kaepcan't explain what i'm tryio say. there are people that you have to go through the background check that extremely and the people that [inaudible]. you put laws on the books, the books then all it does is [inaudibl
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[inaudible]. host: i'm sorry, we were getting a bad connection. we could hear part of what you were saying. the question we are asking gun violence, what are the solutions. we go to robert from frostburg, maryland. independent line. caller: good morning, steve. i had a daughter that was murder ed and these people out there in newtown, connecticut -- my daughter was 5 years old. those parents will never be the same again. when the founders wrote the constitution for the second amendment they didn't have 50 caliber ak-47's and these other high assault rifles that were designed specifically to kill people. in our country we have too many sick people. my government continues to bow down to people like the n.r.a. and we need prudent, wise people making rules in our country now
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and quit butting down -- quit bowing down to these groups that are primarily in it for money. we have too many dying and too much sickness in the country. it needs to stop. somebody has to stand up and say enough is enough and use wisdom with the power they have in washington. host: thank you. are you still with us. caller: yes. host: what happened in your situati situation? 1979er: she was murdered in by a crazy person, another powe of america's crazy people. host: where was she killed? caller: wichita, kansas. host: she was five? caller: yes. host: thank you. epublican line jim is with us from bay city, michigan. good morning, jim. caller: good morning, steve.
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this gun thing, if we ban assault weapons and these large thin things, there are already housands of them on the market now that people own right now. what are you going to do, go louse to house and take the assault weapons away? it will take 100 years. i don't know.america's crazy look at the drunks that are killing people with cars. it is the paoeeople. thank you. host: there is a related story to this front passenger below the fold from the "new york times" looking more at the newtown, in connecticut. the students back at school this week but the piece points out what to do with symbols of grief
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as the memorialing pile up. newtown remains a town suffocated in grief after the massacre december 14 that killed 20 first graders and six adult staff members. now it is wrestling with what to do with all of those well meaning memorials, the sheet in front of the tumbled jungle remains that commemorated them. others have disappeared, some swept up by the town in the middle of the night. it is a daunting question when do public displays of sorrow and sympathy become barriers to moving on. from the jump page of "new york times" a photograph and these have been photographs etched in many memories as we have seen the situation in tphoup including firefighters paying respect to the memorial for those 20 first gradeers that were killed. doris joins us from chicago, democrats lane.
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caller: gardening.ine. caller: gardening. good morning 40 miles from newtown they are holding a gun show this weekend. that is class. but hunters don't use these types of weapons with the high capacity magazine or for 100 rounds they are called drums. these weapons r are to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. it is just -- the seconds amendment calls for a well regulated militia. amendment calls for a well regulated militia. the n.r.a. says no regulation, no nothing, everybody gets as many guns as they want, shoot as many budgets as they want. this doesn't make sense. host: thanks for the call. headline from the "washington post" a number of gun shows have been canceled in the newtown,
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connecticut, area including one in saratoga springs, new york. four all about an hour's drive from newtown canceled. the show in white plains brought back a few years ago after being called off for a decade because of columbine is off because officials decided it didn't seem appropriate now either. in danbury, connecticut, the venue backed out staying with three other shows in the hudson valley. following the shooting in newtown the president speaking to family members who lost loved ones had this to say. [video clip] >> is there even one step awake take to save another child, or another parent, or another town from the grief that has visited tusc tuscon, and aurora, and oak creek, and newtown, and communities from columbine to blacksburg before that?
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surely we have an obligation to try. host: the president on the issue of gun violence. washington this morning front page story the white house looking at a broad strategy on guns in america. we are asking you just what are the solutions. liz has this on the twitter page. would someone explain how registering a gun will stop mentally ill people from using that registered gun to slaughter? the phone lines are open with the numbers on the screen. >> some other cover stories we want to share. cover of weekly standard lots of fighting ahead, round two as the issue continues on other fiscal cliff debate shs including raising the debt limit and 2013 fiscal cliff rematches. good morning. where are you phoning from?
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caller: wailen, massachusetts. i work in behavioral health in massachusetts. we have a lot of programs that i believe would be preventive for gun violence. we have jail diversion programs that work with the police apnd crisis teams. i think that in our part of the country we do a good job with that. other parts of the country i think they are a little behind. neighboring states, new hampshire doesn't have as many mental health services that we do in massachusetts. i'm a pro constitution guy but i think if we get these people early enough they can be treated and the one issue with hipaa
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laws is you can't -- confidentiality is luge laws is you can't -- confidentiality is luge and one thing we see is there is a lot of people that would have been arrested but get diverted in mental health programs. i don't know if there is a federal way where those people can get on a list or -- because of hipaa rules it is a tough thing but it could be prevented. host: how do you do that? how do you identify these mentally ill individuals and then what is the next step if you do identify them? if they have done nothing wrong, even if they face mental issues how do you know whether they will turn violent? need professionals. to get a gun permit in massachusetts the local police chief goes to the state police and check to see if somebody has a mental health background. depending on what it is they are not allowed to get guns. you can go to a gun show in certain states and doesn't matter what your past mental is like. most of the people that i feel are doing this are angry people, a lot of them suicidal and need to get treatment and preventive is huge. i think in massachusetts we are progressive and ahead of that. other states probably need to look into that where i think we could save some lives.
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the president, i hope he would mentally look into treatment versus -- again i'm a pro constitution guy so i think taking away legal guns from people who don't break the law i disagree. host: thank you for sharing your expertise. point from the "washington post" article the president is expected to face fierce opposition from n.r.a. and allies including most republicans and some democrats. margaret joins us from connecticut, democrats lane -- line. caller: good morning. what i wanted to add to the conversation is the fact that in europe, where they have taken strong standslane -- against guns in people's hands, that the
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results have been that deaths and these accidents have gone down precipitously. that is another example is mayor bloomberg who has really done a of in new york city in terms buying back guns and stopping people and asking them if they have guns. this past year the deaths from gun violence is at a new low. that is my point. host: thank you. from our twitter page this tweet it is time to stop reacting tohe esults have been that criminals with guns. it is time to prevent them from getting them. again the story from the "washington post" which is available on line if you are just tuning in, white house weighs a broad gun control agenda in the wake of the new town shootings. saying the white house is weighing a far broader and more
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comprehensive approach to curbing the nation's gun violence than just reinstating an expired ban on assault weapon, high capacity ammunition. a working group led by the vice president is considering measures. one would require universal background collection for firearm buyers. number two to track the movement and sale of weapons through a national data base. number three to strengthen mental health collection. number four to stiffen permanents for anyone carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors. some of the recommendations being talked about on the front page of the "washington post." daniel joins us from savannah, georgia. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm a gun supporter and n.r.a. member. i believe that a lot of humanity likes to determine by what means life is important.
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look at the amount of aboxes that are -- abortions where children's lives are taken every day. look at drunk drivers. 200 average children are taken every year to drunk drivers. to me, taking away guns is not the answer. you are still going to have crim crimes, and to me that is not the answer. but my heart does go out to the family of the connecticut shootings and my heart is there with them. host: thank you. we go to allen from pennsylvania. independent line. as you look at gun violence and latest shootings that took place in aurora, colorado, over the weekends what do you think some of the solutions are, allen?
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caller: good morning. i'm 62 and i have been around 20 all my hraoelife including years in the military. and i don't believe that all of these people that [inaudible] is the answer. i think the answer is not more gun laws but enforce the gun laws that are already on the books. more gun laws will not do you any good because the criminals are not going to obey the laws anyway. host: thank you. denver sunday post has the shooting in aurora a home that killed three people and gunman, the story is before the fold. this is the same place in what police officers called the worst case scenario four people found dead in a town home not far from where the shooting took place at the movie theatre. and hearings in that case getting under way this week in a colorado courtroom involving the
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alleged suspect. rich joins us from glen car been, illinois -- glen carbon, illinois. caller: i want to share how hard it is to obtain a gun. i started getting my s.y.d. card in january. never got the card until late april. i had to save up the money, went to a gun show where everyone said it is easy to get. bought a small revolver. took a week and a half to get it. i just wonder if some of these people ever tried to get a gun or they just go off on this stuff. thanks. host: from liz says i have an a.d.t. security system a sign buy the front door and legally purchased gun, a permit to carry. bring it on. following the shootings in newtown the insurance times -- "new york times" this is from the december 17 pro gun
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democrats the demonstrating rapidly shifting attitude thwart gun control in the aftermath of the massacre in the con school many pro gun democrats including harry reed have signaled and openness to new restrictions on guns. the question we are asking just what are some of the solutions. tim is joining us on the republican line from versailles, ohio. caller: good morning, sir. i do collection work for banks and repossession. and a license to carry. i won't even go to chicago and i will not go to places where i can't carry legally. to me that should really say something. the other thing is i do security work on the side. i would say probably 80% of my
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clients are liberals that are antigun. what if they go to big towns, big cities, they hire someone with a gun and security experience to take them. i think we want the world, a blissful world, a world that doesn't have it and that is what i hear a lot of liberals and that type of thinking suggest. and i would love that very much, too. but we are not in that world. it just doesn't exist. it used to be nicer. but it is getting worse. we have to protect ourselves and do it legally. it is not by way of more laws. it gets in the way of good people trying to protect us and other good people. it is just a condition of america right now and it is unfortunate, but i hate the direction the administration is going. it won't go good. that is what most of the
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callers, i think, are saying. at least that is what i'm hearing. host: a veteran of capitol hill worked with the speaker of the hastert.nis a democratic veteran who worked with ted kennedy and harry reed will be joining us in our sunday roundtable in five or six minutes. what are the solutions to gun violence? other headlines colum"columbus dispatch" the fiscal cliff emocratic some the nation's deficit or avert a new showdown over federal spending as we have breached the $16.4 trillion debt limit so the next debate in washington is raising the debt limit from the gazette in eastern iowa hopes for tax reform officials agree on the need but difficult on the methods. a look at tax reform in iowa and impact here in the country. from the "philadelphia inquirer" a season of uncertainty. landlords fear sandy will hurt
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the summer season and g.o.p. looking to retool its brands. finally, from "the charlotte observer," after a 20-year drought for the republicans taking back control of the state house, swearing in that took place yesterday for the governoa mccare mccrory. caller: this call so i realize how nervous people can get. host: no need. give us your thoughts. caller: how many hours did you spokes spend on the call so i realize how nervous people can get. host: no need. give us your thoughts. caller: how many hours did you spokes spend on the fast and furious scandal? host: a fair amount actually. >> well, to have the government help any more by doing these is not the answer. host: what are the solutions?
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caller: well, for one thing enforce the laws that there are. i think that david gregory had somebody put in jail for holding up that illegal clip. three don't enforce the laws. and the democrats kind of take that there is no absolute right or wrong. and there is right and there is wrong. and people have to take responsibility. host: so, based on the second amendment rights that are ingrained in the constitution and the other issues, mental certainly part of that, access to high-powered weapons and magazines, how do you strike the balance? what are the solutions? caller: i don't think that taking guns away from people is going to help anything. for instance, well, i had a
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couple of things but they are buzzing around in my head. is mt i don't know. for one thing, and this makes no more sense to me, really, than passing more laws, but if they did a simple news blackout on things like that, it would lose its luster to a lot of these crazy kids and then make people forget about it. host: thanks for the call. good job, no need to be nervous. from our facebook page jim says this. i guess we need less first amendment speech since we can
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not control the second amendment. jay paul says no, quit making weapons of human destruction freely available. a few more minutes with calls and comments. lewis joins us from florida. democrats line. caller: that is louise. host: i apologize. caller: i have heard so many dumb excuses. the fella that said if you didn't have guns you would have rocks. that is a nenader that will way of thinking. one car is not a 100 round drunk. you can't kill 100 people in a few minutes. secondly, mental illness, remember road rage? you don't hear that any more. you have so many people with anger issues, they are not mentally ill. we have here in florida a man shoot his neighbor because the dog was barking and he shot the unarmed neighbor because he was angry. that newspaper in new york that
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prints the names of gun owners. that is great because i want to know if my grandchild is going to a neighbor's house to play with their children i want to make sure that their guns are safely secured because hear in florida we have a governor who is so angry that doctors were asking parents if their guns were safely secured that he passed a bill that pediatricians and doctors couldn't question parents about gun safety so how many kids are shot because they find these idiots. host: from our twitter page you cannot predict crazy but you can restrict crazy from getting assault weapons. our last call on this is from manuel from west sacramento, california. good morning to you. caller: good morning. glad you took my call. host: go ahead. caller: fine, thank you.
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i wanted to make mention about the conversation that i hard from some of our police officers here in this area. i won't give their names. nonetheless quite a few were talking and one mentioned during the course of the conversation that he had been there 30 seconds earlier at the school that he would have been able to save half of them. and further on in the conversation the other one said if he had been there 40 seconds earlier he would have been able to save all of them. the third one said if he had been there the crazy jerk wouldn't have gotten in there to begin with. and i have to agree with all three that if you had been there no one would ever have gotten in and if you had seen it occurring outside the school. they have observations out there, i know. another thing, i believe that most of the folks -- not most, let me back that up -- there are
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a lot of youngsters who don't have the capacity to face that life is not an accident and it is not a joke. they seem it take it like that with video games and they have become obsessed with them. we had a killing over here in sacramento not long ago, last week, where the fella, the police officer -- discuss me -- the security officer that shot one of the men had said that the fellow that pulled a gun and he was in a position like he was inside one of those videos. you know, that seems to show us right there just exactly what is going on in the minds of our children. host: thank you for the call. from twitter the problem with the second amendment is that it is our second amendment, that is the problem. "washington post" looking at what the white house calls a broad strategy in the solution dealing with guns in america. the n.r.a. responding to this with this latest web video.
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[video clip] >> never fight if you can avoid it. but when you must fight, don't lose. and when nothing less than freedom is at stake, fight. we are millions of people just like you. we are the longest standing civil rights organization in the u.s. of history's s patriots, prbotectors of the second amendment advocating the right to keep and bear arms. advancing the shooting sports. championing gun safety, education and training. creating a vital legacy by answering freedom's call. and we are growing stronger every day. we are the n.r.a. and the n.r.a. is you. host: that is from the n.r.a. two stories you can find online and front page of the leading
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newspapers. "new york times" looking at symbols of grief piling up. from the "washington post" broad strategy on guns being weighed far beyond the ban on assault weapons. they are on their websites. we will continue the conversation on the agenda ahead as lawmakers return the start of the 113th congress. president back in washington later t today. later, looking at just what members of congress earn, pensions and salary. we will have more with daniel shuman of the sunlight foundation. keeping track of other programs. good morning, nancy. >> good morning, steve. on today's shows the fallout from the fiscal cliff a look at the second term in office. all five re-air on c-span radio
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with nbc's "meet the press." today's the guests include mitch mcconnell, former republican senatorial left hand simpson and erskine bowles, co-chairs of the national commission on fiscal responsibility and independent senator angus king. at 1:00 p.m. "this week" mitch answer l makes another with north dakota democratic senator and arkansas's republican kwcongressman tomcat. chris wallace sits down with ted cruz and chris van hollen and republican representative jim jordan of ohio. cnn's state of the union is at 3:00 p.m. eastern with the democratic senator and richard hudson and the senate majority whip and lindsey graham.
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then "face the nation" with mcconnell, house minority leader nancy pelosi and jeff blake of arizona. the sunday network tv talk shows re-air on c-span radio brought to you as a public service by the networks and re-air. that is "meet the press," this week, fox news sunday, cnn state of the union and "face the nation" from cbs. you can listen to them all on c-span radio, at 90.1 f.m. in washington. on xm satellite channel 117 on the smart phone or online to c-span >> the big discussion i remember was what is richard nixon going it do. >> i remember going home that night. we were scared to death. this was laike a time bomb.
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this gets in the press it is a disaster. >> johnny walters came to me and said john dean, the president's counsel has just brought me a list of 50 names of people and want as full field investigation. that is a very unphrfpbt thing to have happen. it was shortly after the farewell speech. al haig, schaefer of staff, called me and it was to the effect david we forgot one thing. i said what is that. he said we forgot a resignation letter. i said i would be interested to read it. he said you don't get it. you need to write it. >> i thought the best way was not for me as a hitstorian, for the players, key people living from that era, to tell the story themselves. so i thought the best way to do this was to start a video oral history program that involved
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the nixon players and also players in the watergate drama on the left and right to have them tell the story and then to use portions of that story in the museum to let visitors understand the complexity of this constitutional drama. >> the former head of the nixon presidential library and museum details the library's oral history project tonight at 8:00 on "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: in our sunday roundtable two veterans of capitol. longtime republican strategist and staffer to dennis hastert and one who worked for senators kennedy and reed. let's begin with the words of bob woodward it avoid the crisis next time try dell getting the job. players used their staff as
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messagers and backen but never empowered them to solve the problem. could the staffers have done better? guest: as a former staffer you always think that you know all the solutions but it is the members of congress and senators that have to face election. it is a lot easier to get in a back room without worrying about constituents and solve these problems. i know a lot of staffers would be mortified with what bob woodward had to say. you don't want to get out ahead of your boss and the bosses are the ones who put the names on the ballot and ones that face the scrutiny. so, you really can't solve it without the principals. host: it didn't work for speaker bane are. guest: it didn't and it didn't work in the debt limit debacle. i have a lot of respect for bob woodward. i'm not quite sewer i understood what that -- not quite sure i understood what that was getting at.
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staffers can only go so far and it is up to members to legisl e legislate. anyway, interesting piece but i'm not sure i buy the premise. host: how do you fix the problem because there seemed to be a problem coming to an agreement. was it the negotiation, the make-up of the republican congress? or the issues? guest: i think that the real problem is we have a republican party especially in the house that is dominated by extremists who think that going over the so-called fiscal cliff is just another day in the park and who have apparently no problem with pushing this country over the edge when it comes to the debt limit debate. that is a whole other story. but i think we need to stop the polarization of congress and get more bipartisanship. in the end the staffers can only get so far. but because as john said it is the members themselves who get
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elected. host: another piece from peggy noonan from the "new york post" drama obama, after the past week it seems obama doesn't really to work wl with the other side -- well with the other side. he doesn't want big bipartisan victories. he wants his opponents in disarray fighting without and within and incapable. he wants them to be confused. guest: the fascinating thing about what happened in this latest compromise is how the president delegated joe biden to cut the adams. president obama is a terrible negotiator. it is his way or the highway. he doesn't want to give anything. to jim's point about extremism the biggest problem the country faces is spending, not taxes. pay tax. we need to deal with spending. the president has been irresponsible in dealing with the spending problem. he walked away from the
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bowles-simpson commission and hasn't put forward any ideas on how to handle entitles. host: you have been dealing with these last minute issues last year when the president and speaker boehner appeared close to an agreement that failed and for the first time in 60 years the senate was in session on new year's day and house of representatives and by the way they collectively have only been in session four times since world war ii between christmas and new year's. this is from c.q. weekly said these are here to say. this cliff side drama. are we seeing more of this? guest: unfortunately we are. but let me go back one second regarding the peggy noonan piece. i read it with great interest and had a good laugh at it. to be perfectly clear there's not one word in that column i agree with. i don't agree with the
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punctuation. i don't think the way she structured the debate and i certainly don't agree with her conclusions. leaving that aside, yes, unfortunately this will be the new norm. in this day and age nothing happens until it has to happen ecause of the hyper partisanship and polarization in congress. while we are all glad we dealt on new year's day with this other issue you know we have three other issues coming up by the end of march. host: this is from those who wrote broken congress it is worse than it looks. they have five myths about the 112th mycongress. a lot of myths with the 80th congress which passed 906 laws including the marshall plan which they say was clearly one of the most consequential initiatives of the 20th century
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and created the defense department and national security council and in contrast the 112th congress enacted the smallest number of laws in modern history, fewer than 250 including 40 that were trivial such as post office naming and commemorative resolution. guest: it was not very productive. the problem is we have laws that are stupid and need to get rid of some of them and biggest problem is a huge spending problem. i would say that i worked in the 104th congress when the government was shut down between christmas and new year's. that was even worse than today. you have a deeply divided country and strong passes on both sides and you have to reach resolution. and you have a lot of folks on both sides that don't have that much experience negotiating especially president obama and sometimes you have to go to the edge to get something done. one of those times.
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host: they are giving the speaker the worst week in washington. second time he earned that title. john boehner getting rehired toen a impossible job -- to an impossible job. guest: first of all, let me be clear i think he does deserve the worse week in washington. he simply is caught between a rock and a hard place. but you and your readers -- you understand -- i spent 12 years working for senator kennedy at a time when he was back on top of his legislative game and a very fertile time when he was passing a lot of legislation. much of it done with congressman speaker boehner. i saw a man who was willing to compromise, knew how to compromise and accepted that that was part of the deal. so with senator kennedy he negotiated no child left behind.
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pension reform, higher education a act. i know the guy knows how to deal but in this day and age he is caught between a rock and a hard place. host: why? guest: you are right, he has a tough job. i think he is happy to have the job. we have been through a lot in this country. we had the fiscal crisis. we have two wars, one very unpopular. we have a loss of faith in government out in the country especially within the republican base. the republican party itself has again through a lot of strain with the rise of the tea party. so, boehner has a very difficult task ahead. we had an election where we win, we lost eight seats in the house, our presidential candidate lost fairly convincingly. for republicans is not a fun time. that said boehner is the guy for the job. the fact that he had so many
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people defect was not a reflection on him it was the bozos who vote the against him. the republican party if it is going to be successful must remain united. if divided the democrats will have a field day. i think that john boehner is the best chance they have to reunite the party. host: we will get your calls and comments in a minute. the numbers are on the bottom of he screen and join us on facebook and twitter. this is one issue the tax reform more likely of the fiscal cliff agreement, some changes in the agreement over the fiscal gift gives policy makers on both sides a firm are starting place for tax reform discussion. correct. hope bernie is we will have to wait to see. just a cursory look back to the process that led us to this, you know, on this or any other issue, i'm not exactly optimistic that we can get anything done. but i will concede there is a
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ned for tax reform. everyone understands it but the devil is in the details. but some issues have been laid out. many of the issues have been debated publicly and privately in years past back to last year to the debt limit debate. so there is no secret what we are dealing with. the numbers are well known. the question is whether there is a political willingness. host: harry reed had this to say changing the fi filibuster rule. [video clip] >> including the fiscal cliff. plaid dam chair, i believe this matter warrants additional debate in the 113th congress away just started. senators have notice before changing rules. so i will follow the precedent set in 2005 and 2011 to reserve the right to propose changes and
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not acquiesce in the carrying over of all rules from last congress. it is my intention the senate will recess today rather than adjourn to continue the same legislation and allow the rules discussion to continue. i'm confident that the republican leader and i can come to an agreement to allow the senate to work more efficiently. host: i want to get into the politics of there but step back with nonpartisan rule of what the rule states and why some are calling for changes. guest: sure. as quickly as possible under the rules of the senate any one senator has the ability to extend debate for an awfully long time, up to two hours -- up to two weeks. you can debate the motion to proceed. you have to debate the bill itself and you have to have cloture to finish and there are motions that allow the bill to go into conference. a determined minority can use the rules to take two or three
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weeks to finish all but the most routine piece of legislation without necessarily speaking on the floor. so, there are different ideas within the democratic caucus on how to deal with them. they range from the more junior of members of the senate who maybe haven't been there as long to among or things actually requiring senators to stay on the floor to debate the issue. and other slightly more controversial provisions. others within the democratic caucus want to at least try to deal or to eliminate the so-called motion to proceed to the legislation which again can take up it three days which would at least allow the senate to get on a bill and debate it. in between there's a whole bunch of members who have some real concerns about despite the fact that we are in the majority right now that is not always going to be the case. so some are taking a long view
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and are very concerned that any effort to tamper with the filibuster could have consequences later on down the road. i was a nce, if pro-choice woman, senator, i would be concerned in late of what the current make-up of the supreme court is by doing anything to eliminate the filibuster. but others have different views. there is no denying that while he is committed to it, dealing with it in some form or fashion, that is what these conversations with mcconnell are about, he also understands when he takes a long view he has to be careful. guest: i think the democrats and republicans agree on the frustration with the other chamber. you talk to members in either party and they point to the senate thinking it is dysfunctional. guest: when i got to the in 1989 one of the first things somebody said the senate is a real problem.
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i think that has gotten worst. i think you can have debate here as to whether it is the minority or majority causing it. my personal view is the leadership of the senate right now has failed to produce a budget the last three years and failed to have an open process on the budget has been a problem. i think that jim is right about how senator reid has to view this, a view that is a long view. republicans have muffed the last it elections but that doesn't mean they will muff the next one. if they get control of the chamber, which is a possibility, the changes that senator reid will be making if he makes them will apply to mitch mcconnell and if the majority leader wants to make it easier for the next majority leader to get stuff done, he needs to be careful on procedural things. host: your both a veteran of
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the u.s. senate with a number of former senators. we go to the democrats line from pennsylvania. caller: good morning. my question and comment was concerning the fact that our tax rates should probably be based on the particular expenditures. the bush war, or the different interventions that occurred where we went abroad and went to iraq and to afghanistan were not matched with comparable tax increases. so, consequently, what happened was the budget and deficit got
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affected by those expenses related to the war. it would seem to me you need to increase these tax rates to make up for the cost of the war. host: thanks for the call. guest: well, when i worked for speaker hastert at the time of the iraq war, the calculation that the bush administration made was that the last thing we needed to have with kind of the skwrolt -- jolt with 9/11 was higher taxes to stifle economic growth. i think that is why they kept tax rates low. it is interesting that people have been talking about higher tax taxes, and democrats back then condemned the bush tax cuts. now the democrats have moved to
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make 98% of the bush tax cuts permanent so maybe it was not such a bad policy. host: from our twitter page a viewer who is worried about me. help steve out and let him know the fiscal cliff is not over. they did not stop the fiscal cliff. guest: sad but true. very astute observation from your reader. it will help you to generate news and get good guests on the next couple of weeks -- or next couple of months -- because we have a couple of key dates coming up in the next couple of months. we have the beginning of the sequester and debt limit debate and six month c.r. we are currently operating under runs out so it will be a march madness, if you will, of tax and spending debates.
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guest: she was right. the most interesting debate will be what will happen with the debt limit. there's been a lot of talk about republics holding the didn't limit hostage. i look at it slightly differently. i think the problem jim and i in both been involved trying to get people to vote to extend the guest: debt limit is on both unpopular sides. i saw ads against the republicans for their vote on it and against democrats. the fact is that to get the votes you have to make it a sweeter deal and for a lot of republicans to make it a sweeter deal you have to include a lot f of real spending cuts and i think that republicans are angry at the president but they are angrier at their own political leaders for the lack spending cuts in the last fiscal deal compromise. i think that for the next one they are going to have to get significant spending cuts or they won't get any republican votes. host: how do you respond to this comment without filibuster reform our nation will continue to be held hostage by
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mcconnell's political panned aring? guest: there is a significant part of me that agrees with those comments. i spent 21 years in the senate, saw a lot and saw a change over the years. i honestly believe that we are at a point in time where the minority party, the republican party, senator mcconnell, has abused the rules to the extent to which i rarely have ever seen, 60 votes is the norm. it is how you define them in the constitution is not there. the requirement for 60 votes is not there. i don't have numbers in front of me exactly but you can findings potential growth over the -- exponential growth in the rise of the filibuster. it is a common tactic used in the senate and something has it change. i don't envy those who are thinking about the changes for
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the reasons we have discussed but i do believe that something has to give. host: we have reached the death limit although the treasury department is working on measures to depth the debate. you can see from debt the u.s. debt is over $16.4 trillion. call on the republican line from maryland. host: gardening. -- caller: good morning. i would like the panel to comment on house delegationlede. it appears that other states have house delegations made up of white republicans and black democrats. would the panel comment on how that developed and what do they see for the future for that? host: thanks for the call. guest: it is a product of redistricting and the voting rights act that guaranteed that there would be a seven amount of minority districts.
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i think it has played in both parties' hands to a certain extent. the republicans like the idea of getting more districts in the south now is almost completely dominated by republicans. and except as a voter -- as the caller pointed out there are some minority districts and they are almost all exclusively occupied by african-americans. what sends up happening is the former white southern democrat a dinosaur, something of the past. we do have actually a political polarization in the south. host: to headlines. republican chaos on capitol h l hill. not really. "new york times" republicans beginning soul searching after pointing out for mitt romney's loss through the tax fight that shattered party discipline in the house of
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representatives republicans have seen the foundation of their into cal strategy called question. guest: republicans have to do some soul searching. first why did they lose the election. a lot were shocked how easily barack obama won. host: you thought romney was going to win? guest: i did. i was wrong. i was not only wrong i was darn wrong. we were wrong by quite a bit. i think that from a republican standpoint they have to understood this is a game of multiplication and addition, not subtraction and division. the more we -- we have to reinvent ourselves so we are doing a better job appealing to wider ethic groups and we also our message has to be better. we have to take our message to more people. we kept the house representatives but didn't win the overall vote for conscious
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shall -- congressional districts. we have a definite situation that we have to understand. i think that party leaders get that. i think that john boehner gets it and mitch mcconnell gets it and the chairman of the r.n.c. going through a full review of what happened and how to do better. it's not just a tactical problem. host: one says get rid of the republicans in name only. . you get rid of them and you have a party of about 50%. i have been called a rino. >> i have been called worst. . in is a numbers problem. politics is a game of numbers. if you don't have a majority you can't run anything. a lot of people think that we would be better as a minority. that away don't have to govern. that is not sustainable. we leave the playing field to the democrats and barack obama.
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host: darren is on the phone from baltimore. good morning. caller: good morning. for having me. wonderful. i'm very thrilled. i have been watching c-span since i was in high school and i appreciate the show. i have seen john on other programs. you do a pretty good job. host: i bet you haven't seen him with a green tie. i know there's a game in baltimore today. i think there's a football game in washington, d.c. caller: we are very excited about the game. host: let me explain the green tie. guest: notre dame is playing in alabama and that is the only game that matters to me. that is why i'm wearing and i'm going to the game. caller: ravens have a game, too. a lot of story lines in football this year. i was calling because, you know, we have been continued of having the same fights since i was
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young. we have all known about the three problems that we have -- not problems -- the biggest amounts of spending. defense, medicaid, medicare and social security, which doesn't add to our deficit. social security is taken out. i don't mind paying taxes. but the republicans and democrats, they really have to just sit down and deal with it. none of them want to deal with their particular constituency. republica republicans, you know, most of them are aligned to defense. we have to cut our defense. we spend more money than all the top 10 countries behind us combined. there's got to be a better way to do it. host: thanks for the call. guest: well, i think there's got to be some savings in defense
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and in entitlement programs. it is becoming a burden that is crowding out other spends and the growth cap is a shoot through the roof. we have to look at entitlement programs and look at social security in the long term. right now it has a slight surplus but that is des continued to become a problem for us. we made a lot of promises the last 50 years and a lot of them are becoming due and we have to rethink the size and scope of the federal government and our commitment to it. spend being right now is 24% to 25% to g.d.p. and it should be closer to 20%. taxes are going to go up and we have to have more revenue coming in. now it is about 14%. you get the bulk of it thraoud economic growth. whatever tax reform and policies we do we have to make sure it creates jobs because the more
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people that have jobs the more economic growth you have the more tax revenue you have. host: the president seemed to indicate, jim, he is not done trying to get more taxes from wealthier americans. guest: i think that is probably right though to be honest i have to concede in late of the deal that was made a couple of days ago it will be more difficult in light of the fact -- host: difficult for republicans? guest: no, for the president to get much more since the deal last week was focus the so much more -- focused so much on taxes. i'm not sure how much more he can go in the well per se. but, yes rb, with all due respe to john, i don't think that cutting spending is the way tag. we have need cuts. defense is the first thing that comes to mind but i think we
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need to broaden the tax code, bring in more taxes from the wealthy and look at that side. host: i want to follow up on issues friday on msnbc's morning joe the relationship between the democratic leader in the senate your former boss harry reid and the president. she said she doubts harry reid has ever been to camp david with president obama. guest: i can assure you with 100% accuracy he has never been to camp david with the president. nor do i necessarily think he wants to go to camp david. but putting that aside, they have a very good relationship. they work very closely together. any disagreements that they have are usually kept behind closed doors. if what you are trying to get at is should the president be morin gauging -- more engaging and
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invite members down especially republicans, down to the white house or camp david, it sounds nice and for the so-called goo-goos you may get a nice mention in the editorial page of the "washington post" but the reality is your facing a group of republicans led by mitch mcconnell who said his number one goal is to make sure that the president is a one-term president. obviously he lost that one. but again, what i saw starting after the president's election in 2008 was a determined republican party prepared to do everything three could to take down this president. so i'm always in favor of open lines of communication and i would hope that the president would do a slightly better job in outreach. but the fact of the matter is when you are dealing with republicans at least it is only
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going to get you so far. host: another relationship question for you on the republican side of the aisle, relationship 2010 the speaker of the -- between the speaker of the house and republican leader. guest: i think mcconnell and boehner have a close working relationship and good personal relationship. are you talking about mcconnell or reid? host: speak are bane -- bane around -- boehner and mcconnell. guest: i think on the fiscal cliff they had a difference of strategy. mcconnell wanted a tax first and spending limit. and boehner wanted to have a grand deal, a grand bargain they called it. guys, those staffs work very well together. they have known each other a long time and you have two old pros. this is not mcconnell's first rodeo and boehner has been in the house a long time and knows how to cut deals. host: a lot of attention on the
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ceremonial swearing ins that took place between boehner and joe biden. it is on our website and been rebroadcast and getting a lot of attention on youtube. i will leave it there. m it was said it was a day for the old political stiff and if boehner was the nicotine stain ed prince of darkness joe biden was the white knight in the senate fresh from his deal making triumph with mitch mcconnell over the swearing in and lived up to his reputation as bringing sexy back to the medicare eligibility set. guest: he is almost like a majoricourt jester always good for a couple of laughs. he is the gaffes never stop with joe biden. that said i think he is the only guy in the white house that can get a deal done. this president is probably the least engaged president in my
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lifetime. you hear this from democrats in the senate more than you hear it from republicans. republicans expect to get talked to by the president but democrats never hear from him so joe biden plays an essential role. host: we have a call from evansville, indiana. democrat lin. stkpwh caller: you don't realize how ridiculous that sounds to senior citizens. had all of that time to do that and yet joe biden steps in and it was done. that sounds ridiculous. but that is not the point i was going to make. what i called about is i wonder how -- i definitely think that the general people like me, seniors that live under $30,000 a year, we talk a lot at the senior center about these things and we don't think you are in touch with us at all. we would rather pay a little more taxes than have you cut our
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social security or medicare. our social security we feel like we paid it. f.d.r. used our money to help develop the atomic bomb and interstate highway system under eisenhower and finance wars. i checked the website. there isn't one president who hasn't used social security money for something. i don't know if you guys realize it. we will pay our fair share. we want the wealthy to agree to pay their fair share. that is all we ask. we don't ask for their wealth. let's live by the golden rule. that is all. host: thanks for the call. next to kenny from piedmont, south carolina, republican line. this is our sunday roundtable. caller: yes. my question is why is the comment by fiscal responsibility only come out when the democrats are in power? the republicans were in power and never said a word about fiscal responsibility. it was spend, spend us into
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debt. now these guys are in place. host: we will get a response. guest: first talk about the first call. i don't think anyone is talking about slashing social security benefits for current seniors or retirees. or medicare benefits. i think that over time you have a duty to reform the programs so that less of the burden is falling on the federal government which is going bankrupt and more is put on perhaps burden sharing with wealthier citizens. i think that makes a lot of sense. i hear your point and this is why the tea party republicans are so irritated with the so-called establishment republicans. what happened in the bush years is we had two wars and we didn't pay for them and now we have a deficit problem that is made worse by president obama's rapid spending. so, we have to understand our
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place in this fight and we've got to take responsibility for our share of it. the fact of the matter is if we don't get to grips with entertainment spending we will go grip. host: this is from sasha. did president clinton invite speaker gingrich? guest: we know that he invited him on an airplane ride and gingrich didn't like it so he stalked out of the back of the airplane. without knowing with 100% certainty i think that there probably was a time when he was at camp david, but again i'm not going to swear about it. host: chris joins us from alabama. you can guess who he is supporting. does the president have a constitutional role in settling disputes between branches of congress? guest: he does in the sense that he signs the legislation that comes in. so ultimately he doesn't really have a role in negotiating.
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he has an informal role in negotiating between the house and senate on legislation but it is not a formal role. his formal role comes in whether he wants to sign or veto legislation. but throughout tradition presidents have been involved in negotiations for legislation that comes up for his signature. host: spending and taxes came up in the weekly addresses. dave camp, who is recovering from cancer and has been deemed as cured, is the chair of the house ways and means committee. he delivered the republican the weekly address. [video clip] >> under president obama we have had four straight years of trillion dollar deficit. our national debt is over $16 trillion. crushing today's small businesses under a mountain of debt. we are selling their future and our country's financial independence to china. many our democratic colleagues don't get it. throughout the fiscal cliff discussions the president and
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democrats who control washington repeatedly refused to take any meaningful steps to make washington live within its means. that position isto be in that ps irresponsible and fails to acknowledge what every family in america already knows. when you have no money in your account and your credit cards are maxed out, then the spending must stop. that is the current fiscal reality facing america. that is the position facing us. we must identify response will ways to tackle washington's wasteful spending. as the house returns the 113th congress in 2013, are resolution is clear. we're committed to making our economy stronger and healthier and getting our spending under control by making washington fully accountable to you, the hard-working taxpayers of america. host: again, the republican response -- cutting spending. let's go back to the reality of how you do that, how the president, democrats, senate do
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that, going back to jim manley's point about entitlement programs. guest: the easy answer, with great difficulty. having said that, again, the issues are well known. the numbers speak for themselves. the question is going to be whether there is the political will. again, i've got to tell you, following up on something else that norm and tom wrote some months ago in "the washington post," we correctly have republican party that is dominated by extremists. they are far outside the mainstream. to the extent we have republicans suggesting that going off -- to the extent we have republicans suggesting that they are willing to push the debt limit and to question the full faith and credit of the united states, i think is absolutely outrageous.
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it is going to be difficult. all these issues are going to come together in a toxic stew add some point in three or march. i'm hopeful that -- toxic stew at some point in february or march. i'm hopeful that we can get something done. it is windy very difficult. the president has said he's not going to negotiate over the debt limit -. i support the initiative. this is not funding that should not be done. i hope the business groups, i hope wall street and a hedge funds are paying attention to this. the are the ones we're going to -- the eight are the ones who are going to suffer the most -- they are the ones who are going to suffer the most of the full faith and credit of the united states is questioned. also going to be heard is my mom and her retirement -- to be hurt
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is my mom and her retirement. host: a columnist for "roll president wins the first round, more ballots to come in -- more bouts to come in 2013. jim manley goes on to say, it is easy to couldn't quite about gridlock -- to complain about gridlock. it is important to remember that congress' job is not merely to pass legislation, it is to pass good legislation, or at least legislation which the individual member or his constituents the morgue while -- constituents deem worthwhile. guest: some of what i learned about congress is what i learned
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in high school -- people do not like to do their term papers until the last minute. this is a big paper. it is not easy to come up with agreement. the way we get to having more -- a couple of processes. first of all, you need to think about not doing dramatic reform. you'll have incremental reform. it saves you a lot of money. cpi was part of that. it out with the consumer price index and how it deals with increases in social security payments to get -- payments. that is when we get a lot of savings. moving more of the medicaid program to states could help. both medicaid and medicare are fraught with opens of waste and fraud. union to have -- with all kinds of waste and fraud. in need to take a look at this. they need to get these things done.
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it needs to be good legislation. it is so hard to do good legislation when people are dealing with no sleep and a lot of stress and no real thoughtfulness. host: speaking about how congress works and how a bill becomes law, an anniversary this year -- 40 years ago, 1973, abc's "schoolhouse rock." guest: those are the types of things that helped me get excited about the government. as a kid, when you are introduced to those types of riffs and those types of campaigns, it really had a lasting impact on me, and i think for a lot of kids. that's still how i remember how a bill becomes a law. i wish the kids were learning that today. host: the singer, now 89 years old, performing at the kennedy center tonight. a free performance.
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with that, we are back to your phone calls. democrat, new york. john feehery and jim manley, a democrat and republican, respectively, here to talk about politics on capitol hill. jim? you are on the air. caller: my question is for mr. feehery. as you alluded to a spending -- i use this example of the bridge to nowhere. i use that in reference to the presumption that democrats are -- they are the people that -- they are being poised as the people who use spending. what do republicans individual want to do to reduce spending?
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host: jim manley, do you know? guest: not only do i not know, the american people do not know. we've got some hints from the so-called right and budget. but to -- ryan budget. but to a remarkable three -- degree, republicans have been unable to lay out what it would cut as far as the so-called grand bargain. whether it is chain cpi, medicare, raising the eligibility age -- they are widely unpopular. i really look forward to this debate. once and for all, i think the republicans are going to have to lay out exactly what they want to cut. the speaker said on friday he has a new poll by david winston that suggests that some of their proposals -- demand cuts in
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spending in return for raising the debt limit -- are wildly popular. i do not believe that for one second. i think they are going to make a major mistake, but we will wait and see how it all plays out. we have the right and budget -- the ryan budget. they want to privatize medicare, slash domestic spending, stick it to the working men and women of this country, but in recent months there is a dearth of details. host: which branch of government holds the purse strings? guest: obviously, it is a clever -- collaborative effort. all spending and bonds out of the house initially, then it goes to the senate -- all spending comes out of the house initially, then it goes to the senate. the fact of the matter is, to your earlier caller, republicans do have a credibility problem. the bridge to nowhere was a
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problem. what the republicans did, by getting rid of the earmarks, the kind of threw the baby out with the bathwater -- they kind of threw the baby out with the bathwater. there has to be a greater appreciation that each dollar is a dollar taken from the taxpayer. where does it go? it cannot go to your pet project. it has to have nationals it begins. when it comes to medicare and medicaid, entitlement spending -- it has to go to national spending. when it comes to medicare and medicaid, entitlement spending, it is extremely expensive. until we get a better sense of preserving the social safety net while making sure we have a government that is not bankrupt in the future -- that is what we have to achieve. host: here is what the president said in his weekend -- weekly address. [video clip] >> last year, i signed into law, one trillion dollars in deficit
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reduction. it further reduces the deficit, one of the largest debt reduction bills passed by congress and over a decade. and i'm willing to do more. i believe we can find more places to cut spending without shortchanging things like education, job training, research and technology, all of which are critical to our prosperity in a 21st century economy. and the cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code. the wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations should not be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that are not available to most americans. as i said earlier this week, one thing i will not compromise over is whether or not congress should pay the tab for a bill it already racked up. if congress refuses to give the united states -- the consequences for the global economy could be catastrophic. the last time congress threaten this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it.
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our businesses and families cannot afford that dangerous game again. host: let me ask is a big question. will democrats go along with medicare and medicaid reform, which clearly is one of the biggest drivers of the debt? guest: the easy answer is yes in the context of a larger agreement where everything is on the table. host: but we have not gotten there in two years. guest: that is also true. there were attempts to get their last year during the debt-limit debate, but they obviously fell apart. what we saw in the last go- around was not conducive to major changes, which is why i thought that issue of senator reed causing a chain cpi -- s enator reid tossing the chain cpi into his fireplace was a great story.
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the only reason mcconnell was making the play was because he wanted to wave-around a scalp to show to his base that he went after social security. like i said, i think that a majority of the caucus, at least the senate democratic caucus, what i know best, would be willing to engage in entitlement reform, whether it is raising the eligibility age for medicare i don't know. some of those details need to be worked out. in the part of a global agreement, i am confident there will be a political willingness to engage in those. those hos-- those discussions. host: part of the sandy bill recently passed. let's go to the republican line. good morning. caller: i want to make a comment
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or question. we talk about the republicans going to these extremes, the filibuster being used time and again, more times in the last four years. i think that is because harry reid and his senate has marginalized the republicans so much that they have to take these extreme positions. it also seems that barack obama -- in a house, he does not need republicans to pass a piece of legislation. that is what you see republicans having to use the only bargaining chip that they have, which is the debt ceiling. maybe if there was more compromise between the democrats, mitch mcconnell talking about a one-term president and all that kind of stuff, but if they could work together, you would not see the republicans try to take these kinds of drastic measures. host: thank you for the call from california. guest: i have great affection
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for my friend here, jim manley, and he has great affection for harry reid, but i think harry reid has been a disaster as a leader. there is not -- they do not allow for real debate on the big issues. the fact that they have not passed a budget in three years in the senate is one of the most irresponsible acts. we need a budget more than ever. we need to have a sense of where the spending is going. we need a debate on the senate floor about this. we just have not had it because the senate majority leader is doing his best to shield his numbers front of votes. that is why he "builds the trees" before senator mcconnell has any chance to build any real debate on things. i think that mcconnell and reid, both of them have to get together and figure out a way to make the senate work again. it cannot continue to be this dysfunctional. host: one of our viewers says --
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guest: i thought everyone would understand about that. guest: i reserve the right to object. one vignette, one of my favorites, which i think shows what senator reid is dealing with in this day and age -- i hope i have the details right. if not, reporters on capitol hill will let me know i am wrong. i believe it was the highway spending bill last year that reid spend weeks if not months trying to get to the floor. he finally got an agreement to take it to the floor. he thought he had an agreement on amendments. all the sudden popped up david vitter, demanding a vote on a personhood amendment. an abortion-related and highly controversial one, at that, that he wanted to be added to the highway bill.
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the senate has ruled that -- rules that allow for a limited debate. any senator has any right to offer an amendment. that kind of cheap political scoring has no place in the senate. reidt: had senator kir allow that vote, it would have been easy vote for democrats -- had senator reid allowed that vote, it would have been an easy vote for democrats. sometimes, by stifling debate, i think he defeats himself. democratic debate, small-d democratic debate needs to happen in the senate to have the process working again. host: we want to show you some of the challenges the speaker faced in his reelection effort. 12 party defections. dennis sastre had five.
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-- dennis hastert had 5. newt gingrich had 9, and then he stepped down as speaker of the house. how big was this? guest: we do not know if it was small rebellions that will be inconsequential or if it is a harbinger of worse things to come for john boehner. the members who voted against him tend to be always on the fringes of things. it is not because of their districts demanding a vote against john mica -- john boehner. there was definitely some personal -- not like what newt gingrich faced, where people were worried about their elections because of newt gingrich. john boehner is not a problem for most of these people. i think the problem for boehner is a management problem.
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can he continue to get stuff done? will these 15 -- this shows how hard it is for him to get stuff passed. if they are going to vote against him on being speaker, imagine the bigger deals that have several painful choices. host: we will conclude on that, john feehery, a veteran of the house, jim manley, a veteran of the senate, thank you. daniel schuman has treated he will be joining us in just a couple of minutes. "before joining c-span's ' washington journal -- looking forward to joining c-span's ' washington journal.'" james kitfield will be with us to look at the foreign-policy agenda. but tv and american tv -- "booktv" and "american history
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tv" looking at the history of providence, rhode island. some of the historic sites in and around providence. here is a portion of our visit to the first baptist in america as we learn about roger williams, who founded providence based on the idea of freedom of religion and separation of church and state. >> roger williams was the founder of rhode island, the founder of providence, and also a founder of the first baptist church in america. williams was going -- born in london. his birth records were burned up in the great london fire of 1666. he became a chaplain for one of the chiefs. because he was a puritan and the church was cracking down and putting his people in jail, he fled england. he arrived in boston in
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february. he believed the state had no role to play in religion. this was an absolutely radical idea at his time. every country in europe had a state church, so did massachusetts and the plymouth colony. they all had their own state- supported churches. the taxes of the people paid for the ministers and the buildings. you had to go to church or they would come and get you and fine you. williams said the state has no role whatsoever to play in religion. eventually, he was put on trial there and convicted of sedition and heresy and was going to be shipped back to england where he probably would have died. before they could execute that order, he fled. he walked down to salem -- what is today salem. he was taken in by his friends, the indians.
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he spent the rest of the winter with a great statesman of their people. when he was in the land grant territory of plymouth, he crossed over the river to where we are now. he was greeted by his friends the narragansetts. host: a preview of what you can expect this weekend on c-span2 and c-span3. you can also check it out on our web site. they are easy to get to, c- we want to welcome daniel schuman. he is with the sunlight foundation. our goal is to look at the fact and fiction of what members of congress earn. probably one of the most repeated questions we get on this network -- pensions and benefits that members of congress receive. first of all, in terms of salary, what does a member of
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congress receive? guest: $174,000 per year. there are a couple of members who earn a little bit more. speaker of the house of $223,500. the majority leader -- minority leader and majority leader earn $193,400. host: why do the leaders earn less than the speaker? guest: it is the history, the tradition. host: earning $174,000 per year -- what does that get them? they have to have an apartment at least in washington and their residence back in their home state. guest: it does not get that far. b.c. is a very expensive place to live -- d.c. is a very
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expensive place to live. a lot of these things -- it is not a lot of money. if you look historically over time, members of congress are earning less money than they would have been otherwise. there was legislation in 1989 that helped set number pay. if you were to adjust it, they should be earning about $230,000 or $240,000. host: let me put up these numbers. a member of congress in 1965 earned about $30,000. in 2013 dollars, it would be $220,000, which is pretty close to what the speaker earns, but far less than what a member earns. guest: that's exactly right. await to look at it that i find helpful, not so much what is the -- a way to look at it that i find helpful, not so much what is the raw number, but
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comparison. many of the members who come into office are millionaires. 47% of them have net assets of $1 million or more. 10% of them actually have negative net worth. the vast majority of them, their salary from congress is not what constitutes their wealth. congress mid-1990's, changed its pension and benefit system. what does a member earn today in terms? of pension? guest: there is an old civil service system. if you were elected as a civil servant before 1984, you get incredibly generous benefits. you can retire after 30 years and have 60% of your salary. if you were more than out of you can have 70% of your salary --
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if you work more than that, you can have 70% of your salary annually, based on your three highest years of earning. for members elected afterward, their pay and benefits are significantly less than they would have been otherwise. it is determined based on the equivalent of a 401(k). so, to help put it in a little bit of context, there are about 500 numbers of cars right now who are receiving pensions. about half of them -- members of congress right now who are receiving pensions. the ones who are under the new plan receive less than $40,000 per year. there is a huge difference between the two in terms of the types of pension and benefits.
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host: what's the biggest misnomer in regards to what they receive? guest: the biggest thing that confuses a lot of people is they think that you go to congress and being a member of congress makes you rich. the truth is that it does not make you rich. afterwards, oftentimes, the connections and the ability to use those connections can make a member wealthy. most of them come in well be to begin with. this did not used to be true. -- in wealth to begin with. this did not used to be true. in 1975, the average member of congress had about $240,000 in assets coming in. by a couple of years ago, the average was around $750,000 per year. they are coming in welathier -- wealthier than they used to.
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when they leave, they can use their connections to make them more welathy. -- wealthy. they have wives that are working on 40 hours per week, 50 hours, 60 hours. they often have two jobs, one serving constituents, the other raising money. host: as a policy adviser and counsel to the sunlight foundation, what is the foundation? who funds your organization? guest: we are funded by wealthy individuals and that information is on our web site. you can see every contributor on our web site, down to $500. cartop contributor is -- our top contributor is froum a foundation founded by the founder of -- host: send us a teet.
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-- tweet. "the purpose of insider trading really upsets me. how can something that can put me in jail be practiced by insiders?" guest: what is kind of interesting, there are lots of interesting things -- one is that members of congress have general responsibility for policing their own action. as a consequence, of course, you are not necessarily going to be that hard on other folks who have the same role of judging you, which is why i think the office of congressional ethics, the independent watchdog in the house, is so important. the number of prosecutions on it are not particularly high. it is very hard to figure out that is exactly what is going on. host: jan says, "many of them take full advantage of the subsidies and other loopholes
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they wrote into law." joyce, good morning. caller: good morning. i want to thank c-span. with the recent changes to the payroll tax, does it change the fico amount? guest: i do not know if the members pay fico. they do pay medicare. they do not have a particular health care plan. they get to choose from the number of the plans and the cost is deducted from their salaries. host: wyoming -- a republican. go ahead, please. caller: i would like to know, does -- do the american people pay for the airplanes that take them back and forth to washington? guest: yes, they do.
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the american people pay for the travel to the district and back from the district. this is actually an interesting perk for members of congress. that is not paid for by the taxpayer, but paid for perhaps in other ways. the airlines have set up a special phone number for members of commerce -- congress to book a special seat. they can reserve seats on different flights going back on the same day and only pay for the one they actually use. it is one of the perks the airlines provide members of congress. host: what do they get in return? guest: that is a good question. the members have nice and and fuzzy feelings about the airlines.
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host: social security tax pays 37% of their health premiums and retirees get a 50% cut in social security benefits. guest: the members pay into a couple of things. it is the thrift savings plan, which is like a 401k. you have less control than you would otherwise. members are required to divest themselves of certain assets that would cause conflicts of interest. they are also supposed to disclose assets. you have to go to the hart building to get a copy of them unless you go to a third-party web site. then you can get access. they do a poor job of disclosing that information online. the best place to go is a website run by our friends at responsive politics called open
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secret. host: next is ed on our independent line. caller: schuman, over and above the salaries, how much do they make on special interests and lobbyists? if you look at it, lawmakers of been in office 20, 30, 40 years. look at their net worth before they went into office and look at it now. it is substantially more than the sully's that are making. thank you. guest: many of these ways the members of congress could earn money are limited. honoraria earned 15% of their congressional scholar. many make money over time while they are in office. as one of the earlier callers
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mentioned, there is concern about things like insider trading. you can go and see some members that have done a lot better than the market would predict. it makes you wonder what is going on. for the vast majority of them, they are already coming in wealthy. the salaries they received from congress is useful. it makes a significant difference. it is not being vas -- not the vast majority of their wealth. there are even wealthier leaving. host: we are talking about congressional pay and perks. our guest is daniel schuman from the sun life foundation. diana in new jersey. thanks for waiting. caller: good morning.
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this issue bothers the american people. that writes the laws and after they leave congress, they become lobbyists and they become our -- create consulting companies. what expertise than guiliani have. he responded to a disaster. that is his job as a mayor. after he leaves office, he becomes the head of a major consulting corporation. richard clark, same thing. he owns a consulting business. tozen, he wrote to the health- care law with the pharmaceutical lobby and he became the head for millions of dollars. meanwhile, they are taking our benefits away, pensions and health-care benefits. there is income inequality in america. c-span should do a whole series on income inequality.
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the cell is that you quoted for congress seems high for us. would you comment on the revolving door. there was a series for the defense department. host: that is the reason we are focusing on this subject. guest: you raise a couple of good questions. one has to do with lobby reform and the revolving door and income inequality. let's start with income inequality. members of congress turned 5 times more than their average staffer. the average ceo of a company earns 350 times the average employee salary. if you want to talk about income inequality, the place to start looking at that is the private
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sector. going to be revolving door. you raised an important point. we just saw senator demint leave to head the heritage foundation. he will earn $1 million per year. he will be more and some -- influential that he was as a member of congress. why are they doing this? they are earning $174,000 a year. compared to the alternative, they can earn more money elsewhere. there is this hydraulic pressure of all this money that encourages a lot of them to go and find a way to cash in. we have seen a lot of talk. just the other day on the floor of the house, making sure members of congress do not have their pay increase. we need to keep in mind the couple of things.
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one is that when you decrease the solace for members of congress, it is stagnant -- the salaries for members of congress, it is stagnant and it encourages them to look elsewhere. members of their staff do not make a lot of money. they feel the same pressure to go out and louis -- use their connections. let me add one cherry on top. when i had communications with congress, i was required to report that. there are rules regarding lobbying. i have to spend 20% of my time registering. members of congress have figured out ways around these kinds of rules. he did they do not make the contact themselves or they do not spend 20% of their time lobbying. the lobbying rules need to be expanded. anybody engage in lobbying activity, particularly members
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of congress and staff, should be required to report the communications that are engaged in. there should not be a loophole so they can get around ethics rules that have been created. host: our next call is azch joining us -- oisis zach, joining us from pennsylvania. caller: the social security is set up for us to help us during repairman age, -- retirement age, what can we not stop paying into social security? guest: i am not an expert on social security. it is set up as an insurance program. if you start having people out out, you have a couple of problems.
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what happens for people who go and invest in the stock market and lose everything and they become destitute? are you going to not support them or will the government have to step in again? the reason you have a social insurance program is to deal with those situations. i am not an expert on social security, but that is my understanding. host: the speaker of the house is the highest paid in congress. his salary is $223,000 per year. the republican and democratic leaders in the house of representatives have a salary of $193,000 per year. members of congress make what a $74,000 a year. the president makes $400,000 a year -- members of congress make $174,000 a year. this is from a viewer from our
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twitter page. what leverage did voters have in changing these benefits that congress pass? guest: in the debate that occurred in the house early this week, you saw all the members of congress standing up on both sides of the essay -- the aisle saying, we do not deserve a raise. it is an automatic increase. it is not something they have to vote on. there is no one who stands up and says, congress is doing a great job. they should earn more money. nobody has said that in this country's history. if you want to influence the way the vote on the benefits, the best way is to contact them, organize locally, and vote out the people you think are doing something egregious. before you engage in those
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actions, you need to think about what you believe pain folks who are responsible for billions if not millions of dollars far less than they could earn elsewhere is the kind of pressure you want to create. whether this is going to result in a better political system. as you are doing so, think about singapore. he's chief executive is paid a little bit over $2 million -- the chief executive is paid a little bit over $2 million per year. like in anything else, you get what you pay for. right now, we are paying our members want to $74,000. host: should we pay the more? guest: that is a good question and it is outside the power of the sunlight foundation. we have seen in the last two years in the house, and 11% increase in the funding for the
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house of -- a decrease in funding for the house of representatives. we have seen outsourcing for our government to private many would are a a lot of local calls productive. host: if you are a member of congress and your district is bethesda, maryland, you did not have to commute you can only have one home. if you live in new york city, you have to have the ability homes. it cost of living in new york city is higher than if you are a representative in illinois. there is a big disparity in what you need in income. guest: that is absolutely right. it is not adjusted. the amount of money they can
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stand on their own offices is adjusted for those kinds of factors. if you have to travel further, if your mail has to go further, their bid -- their own expenses will go up. it can fluctuate between $1.5 million for the house and $4.5 million on what they can spend on travel expenses and staff based on the number of people they represent. in terms of what their salaries are, it is a flag amount that they have decided the best that amount that they have decided. -- flat amount that they have decided. host: what would they earn in their own district. is the salary commensurate? guest: that is a good question. the cost of living is lower in other locations.
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47% of members of congress are already multimillionaires, or already millionaires. many of them are taking pay cuts to become members of congress. apparently, they can do better locally than they can as local -- as elected officials. host: our next call is from idaho. caller: the biggest perk congress gets is the three day work week. supposedly, the rest is spent in all of these recesses. supposedly, it is spent on district work. a lot of it is spent on fund raising. i would like to see congress back to work with fewer resources and a four day work week and live in washington with their job is.
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host: thanks for the call, judy. guest: you raise an interesting point. people talk about 3 cents. it is not recess like when we were in -- people talk -- recesss -- recess. it is not like when we were in elementary schools. some of them are working all the time. some of them are engaged in a representational jousts. one thing that they -- representation of jobs. they have to spend time dialing for dollars and finding money to get reelected. our campaign finance laws require members to raise incredible amounts of money that require large amounts of time. we would want them to be engaging in representational work. host: this is from our twitter page. wondering if members of
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congress earn additional funds based on the committees they sit on. bottom line, members in terms of their pension and what they pay into and what they get in return can be summarized. guest: members of congress learned a lot more than the average american. when you look at it based on page, experience and alternatives, they are earning a lot less than what they could be earning otherwise. the real question is, are we getting value from what they are doing? if you want to have better applicants, does it make more sense to decrease our increase -- decrease or increase so that we have representatives doing the kind of things we need them to be doing. host: the pay of members of congress. daniel schuman.
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the website is when we come back, james kitfield has penned a piece about what president obama will be facing in 2013. nacy -- nancy is on c-span radio. >> the incoming 113th congress and a look at president obama's second term in office. the pressest on meet is mitch mcconnell, alan simpson and erskine bowles, the cochairs on the national commission on the store responsibility and reform. and then and then a senator angus king of maine.
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then another appearance by senator mitch mcconnell and an arkansas representative. ted cruz and republican congressman jim jordan of ohio. candy crowley welcomes senator dick durban. house minority leader nancy pelosi and the pelican senator jeff flake. the sunday morning talk shows are brought to you by the networks and c-span. the re-airs begin with meet the press, fox news sunday, and face
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the nation from cbs. you can listen to them all on c- span radio nationwide on xm satellite radio. or you can go online to c- >> you cannot always find newspapers and rationing investigative reporting. the-embracing investigative reporting. -- embracing investor kenneth reporting. it is troublesome. it is that more than the -- embracing the investigative reporting. there are stories. we are fortunate to work for people who were strong and upright. let the chips fall where they
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make. >> the pulitzer prize-winning team will take your calls, e- mails, and tweets today on "in depth." they are? >> also is -- they are the co- authors of 8 books. "washington journal" continues. host: we continue with james kitfield and the president's foreign policy agenda. first, let's begin with the news. the president of syria delivered a speech to his nation. he was the fight -- described as a defiant president. he described the rebels as terence the last terrorist -- as
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terrorists and describe a national reconciliation conference and a new syrian constitution. guest: president assad has adopted a bellicose reaction to the rebellion. it is not an all-out civil war. throughout this conflict, he has adopted this tone that these people are terrorists and criminals. 60,000 syrians have been killed in the civil war. he is going to come middle ground to the rebels who think they are winning at this point. host: cure associated press is pointing out this is his first speech since last june theory his opponents are -- the associated press is pointing out that this is his first speech since last june. guest: the rebels are winning
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this conflict. the question is how long will it go on and how many syrians have to die before the assad regime toppled or some deal is reached to send him into exile. there is no deal that leaves him sharing any power. host: if he goes into exile, which country will take him? guest: russia has been his biggest backer. it comes immediately to mind as someone who would want to take someone responsible for the death of 60,000. host: during the conflict, how has he been able to maintain his power? guest: the rebellion is that the church. it is not unified. he has one of the biggest armies in the middle east. he has overwhelming firepower,
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and air force, heavy armor. he has been able to hang on because he is part of an allied minority. his commanders feel they would suffer under a new regime that was led by the sunny -- sunnis. he has people losing their lives depend on holding firm and not giving up. they are clearly losing and they will lose and he either will go into exile or he will be toppled. how many people have to die before that happens? host: syria is part of the president's second term agenda. you wrote that the obama doctrine calls for ending american wars and avoiding future ones. it could signal a retreat from america's global leadership.
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death you have heard president obama say it is time for nation building at home. that is the -- guest: you have heard present a, say it is time for nation building at home. -- president obama say it is time for nation building at home. you can tell he is conflicted about the decision. he announced a deadline for withdrawing the troops as he announced the surge. he said the kind of nation building he is most interested in is our own. you see that he thinks we are in a period where we need to restoration and a lot of restraint because we have been overextended. we need to rebuild our economic vitality. if you look at all of his
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decisions -- whether it is ending the war in iraq, setting a deadline for troops out of afghanistan by 2014, medicines in getting dragged into future conflicts -- reticence in getting about in future conflicts -- these are organized around the idea that it is time for america to restore because it is overextended. host: from the new york times, the u.s. is weighing cure troops in 2014. the united states is considering keeping troops on the ground after 2014. that is significant because it is smaller than the plan put together by general allan. guest: the administration, in
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its negotiations with iraq, wrote down and ended up with none. those numbers are less than half and general allan would like, around 20,000. at 3000 to 6000, you are talking about people who can do targeted counterterrorism activities against terrorists. as far as continues training and logistics help, that is a low number. it is in keeping with his determination that we need to end these wars. they are a drag on american strength and vitality and they are expensive and the country has turned against them. host: the president will nominate former senator chuck hagel. will he get confirmed by the senate? guest: i think he will. there has been congress and
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around his nomination. he is a well respected moderate republican who is a war hero from vietnam. he has led a think tank that has to do with foreign policy. he is a well respected moderate republican voice reminiscent of robert gates. eventually, having served in the senate for so long, he will be confirmed. host: senator john kerry of massachusetts will be the next secretary of state. in announcing senator kerry last month, the president touched on some of the things he wants to focus on during the next four years. [video clip] >> we have begun a new era in american leadership. we put al qaeda on a path to defeat and we are winding down the war in afghanistan. we strengthen our alliances in asia, forced new coalitions to
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meet global challenges, stood up for human dignity in north africa and burma. we still face the challenges. today, i can say with pride that the united states is safer, stronger, and more respected in the world. host: in your piece, you quote robert kagan. when you travel around the world, everyone is asking the same question. where is america? there is a perception that we are absent economically, diplomatically, and militarily. it a lot of that has to do with syria. libya was one example where we insisted our allies in europe -- we took the lead in an operation we took a pivotal role in. we need to shift the burden of these conflicts. in syria, we have taken a hands-
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off approach to a crisis that threatens any number of our close allies including saudi arabia, jordan, lebanon. syria has the potential -- turkey, primarily. nato has to thousand refugees from the conflict. a warplane was shot down. there have been artillery exchanges across the borders because artillery has landed on their side of the board. this is a crisis that has been going on for two years. this has made our allies nervous. it is not what they expect from american leadership. at some point, it becomes perceived as retreat and in trenton. as many people have said, there is not another country in the world that can take the leadership role. when we take a hands-off approach, it makes our allies
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nervous. host: always welcome our c-span radio audience. 90.1 fm in our nation's capitol. our guest-- our guest is james d of the national journal wick wack dosh national journal dosh "-- "national journal." guest: if you look at the periods between wars, they are very critical periods. we can read the peace dividend and live happily ever after. history does not show that is what happens. there are usually. between wars. you have to manage very carefully. you cannot draw down your military forces too far, because they have to be ready for whatever comes next. you can promote your adversaries by seeing dosh by being seen --
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by being seen as too weak. these are very difficult periods to manage. if we get it wrong -- host: the piece is titled "restoration and restraint." mike is joining us from germantown, maryland. caller: i hope you will give me a little bit of time to explain myself. there is an article saying that al qaeda terrorist airlifted from libya to aid syrian opposition. this is not rebellion. this is a cia, mossad, and my six, state -- sponsored -- mi-6,
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state-sponsored coup. host, i will stop you there. we ask for courtesy and diplomacy. you can certainly a -- disagree with our guest. to the point that he feels the cia is involved. guest: this started out internally. it is indigenous. it started out peacefully after assad decided to crush it it's dartedit's -- out peacefully. after assad decided to crush it militarily -- libya join the opposition, much as we saw when the civil war in the iraq was at its height. we saw the sunnis joined all qaeda in the air act -- join al qaeda in iraq. even if assad falls, what happens to those groups?
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do they get their hands on the chemical weapons, for example. we have picked a side in the civil war. president obama said assad must go. we have not armed the rebellion, but our allies have, especially saudi arabia and qatar. mostly with small arms. there are credible reports they had surface to air missiles. it is a messy civil war. we have chosen a side. right now, it is stalemated. we have offered support to the rebellion. once he started massacring his own people, i don't think a lot of our allies would have accepted any other choice but to stand on the side of these people who want a say in their own lives. host: of viewer says -- of er says, " iview wher
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have to admit most of color is true. cia is involved." republican line with james kitfield. caller: james, i have an observation for you. that is that many of these wars that we have become involved in are merely proxy wars. we are drawn in all the way from johnson in vietnam up to president george w. bush to where we are bankrupting our country with these proxy wars. i think that what has happened here is president obama is withdrawing, and he is becoming an isolationist, and we cannot afford to be that way, but we cannot afford the proxy wars either.
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guest: therein lies the crux. it is very clearly a proxy war. the proxies on one side -- the asad regime is being used as a proxy by the iranians -- the assad regime is being used as a proxy by the iranians. we have come meanin, as i have r allies, because of the horrific slaughter, 60,000 people now dead, hundreds of thousands of refugees, one million displaced inside the country. there is a valid concern of not having syria drag the whole middle east of the cross -- at a crossroads of the sectarian divide. it is a proxy war. the question is, can you afford, as the united states -- their interests -- the obama
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administration decided it will not supply legal aid, certainly no troops on the ground or air power like we saw with libya. they have taken a pretty hands- off approach. the idea that we can do nothing, as this starts to draw in all of its neighbors, is a very difficult stance to hold onto f or two years. host: the decision to downsize the defense department -- guest: it is very much part of a retrenchment or restoration doctrine that you would take off
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the table very manpower- intensive wars with regime iraq andike we had in th afghanistan. there are a lot of military experts who support that. we have exhausted our armed forces with beast two very costly costly counterinsurgency wars. let's not do that dosh with these -- with these two very costly counterinsurgency wars. let's not do that wit. they have adopted a much more discrete response to the terrorist threat -- discretet response to the terrorist threat. host: the us is still spending more on defense than the top 10 nations combined here it is >> -- combined. guest: it is true.
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there is no other superpower to police the global economies. that still falls to the indispensable nation. that is us. host: you can read all of james kitfield's work at national caller: i really enjoying this . i love "washington journal." something mr. kitfield said about assad being of the minority muslim faith within his own country and also -- i noticed that dynamic seems to play out a lot in the middle east, certainly with saddam hussein. what are the factors that enable members of a minority clan -- of a minority clan, in some ca ses, and a minority sec tt of
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islam to rise to political leadership and dictatorship in these countries? how did that happen? secondly, i want to reiterate about the whole clip -- the whole theme about the collapse of american dominance in the world affairs, the weaning of our superpowers that is. i have long believed that is just the natural evolution of history. you saw with britain, where winston churchill's famous winston churchill's famous line. this seems to be a relatively highly functioning country. they have produced great leaders of industry, entrepreneurship, the arts. when we feel -- iraq and afghanistan were really the tipping stone that we squandered our financial resources. we outsourced it. it was basically a corporate war.
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i just feel like we dug our own grave here and now we have to face the consequences. we do have to take care of ourselves first. host: are you saying that not being a superpower may not be such a bad thing for the you -- u.s.? caller: exactly. by default, we will still be a world leader because of the dynamism of our country. you look at canada, our quiet neighbor to the north, that whether the financial downturn excellently. they are a highly respected nation, a vibrant country, a powerhouse -- economic powerhouse. who cares? post, -- host: thanks for sharing your voice and your ideas. there are a lot of minority sects ruling majority countries like iraq and syria because, after world war ii, --
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british empireouge was ruling . -- ruling. they made these tribal allies rulers. minrority sunni ruler of a m ajority shia country in iraw. -- iraq. there were built-in problems with the way the map of the war -- the middle east was redrawn after world war roman to -- world war ii. for a half century, we lead the free world in the cold war. to a certain extent, britain still punches above its weight. as this canada. can that can afford to a very
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does military force dos-=-- as canada. canada can afford to have a very small military force to the period of unusual supremacy we enjoyed when the cold war ended -- a very small military force. the period of unusual supremacy we enjoyed when the cold war ended -- we are moving towards a more multiple world. to get there in a more stable and peaceful world still requires collective action led by some country that can rally the world to collective action. the only country able to do that still is us. if you want abrogate that, responsibility -- abrogate that responsibility, you will have to put up with a lot of bad actors. host: senator chuck hagel is
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expected to be the next defense secretary. what doe we -- " for what enemy do we need new weapons like the f-22 raptor?" guest: you require -- guest: you require stealth technology to avoid having in order that offices -- inordinate losses yourself. you are still flying f -- we are still flying f-16's that were modernized in the 1980s. -- 1980's.
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the pentagon feels like a lot of its pilots are flying planes that are as golden as -- as old as their grandfathers. host: good morning. welcome to the program. caller: thank you. i hope i get as much time as that wonderful lady from massachusetts. i want to ask about the direction our foreign policy might be taking, which is just fabulous in our mind, if he does nominate senator hagel and his sound and clearly -- based clearly-based mind in regards to foreign-policy and he ran -- and iran. neither kerry nor hagel would want to use our military in a way that is completely unnecessary. the folks who are gathered up and fighting against hagel's
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nomination, if you would talk about them. i think it is a wonderfully strong indicator that we will have a better foreign-policy if hagel makes it a little -- makes it in. host: first, the defense department. guest;: gcritics of hagel have thinkery pro-israel, who he is not sufficiently committed to israel. another group thinks he has not drawn hard enough lines against iran and its nuclear program. others think he is too soft on a rant -- on iran. as come from a moderate, realist wing of the republican party, -- he does come from a moderate, realist wing of the republican party. brent go kroft -- brent
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scowcroft has come out in support of hagel. it is realist and it is cautious. that probably comports with the obama doctrine he -- we have talked about. we need to be cautious about overextending ourselves. i think chuck hagel will be commensurate with that view. host: and syria? caller: i feel like they base what they say based on substantiated evidence. on syria, why is it that we -- they have written that 50% of the syrian people support assad. they have written about egypt. i think it was egypt, saudi arabia, turkey, and iran trying to form a group to communicate
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with assad. host: who is "they"? caller: syria, egypt, saudi arabia -- it was iran and turkey would sit down with assad about stepping down. guest: that offer has been out to assad all along. the arab league has made many overtures. united nations has a special envoy for the syrian conflict. mr. brahimi. all of which have tried to get him to of set some sort of deal which dosh to accept some sort of deal which egos and -- all of which have tried to get him to accept some sort of deal which egos into exile. he gives no indication he is willing to continents any such ienence any such de
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al. iran realizes they habvve backea loser. russia does, too. i have seen no indication he has listened to them. the best thing that could possibly happen at this opint -- point would be a deal that allows for a more orderly transfer of power. if you wait for more bloodshed, you see something like libya, chaos, bad acting, all things of -- all kinds of things can happen in that environment. host: early in this conflict, you and others wrote about the family dynamics in the the assad family. his mother is still alive, and by many accounts, calling the shots behind the scenes. can you elaborate? guest: i have not heard that. it is a family affair. his father ruled syria for many years pdt killed 30,000 syrians
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in putting in -- for many years. he killed 30,000 syrians. the security forces have held tight around him. his mother calling the shots -- i'm not aware of that. host: one of our viewers saying i would prefer the position of switzerland. no one seems interested in blowing up their cities. a position that continues to percolate -- a position that continues to percolate in this country. est: people who read -- our leaders read it such. they go into a full retrenchment, retreat view. world is a very chaotic place right now. you have a people associated with the arab spring. you have the euro crisis. you have a global recession.
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you have a rising china. it is a very a out of world right now. i'm not sure that it's going to be less -- it is a very chaotic world right now. i'm not sure that it's going to be less chaotic if we pull back, because bad actors will fill that power vacuum. host: james kitfield of the "national journal." caller: google james morris, r ussia today, you will see that it is a spinoff --sia russia today, you will see that it is as enough -- a spinoff. guest: they kind of backed the idea that assad just stay in power. israel likes the status quo. the arab spring totally reshuffles the strategic calculus for israel, especially
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with the peace treaty. the israelis are very nervous about a lot of the repercussions from the arab spring. are they pushing for this rebellion that gets rid of assad? not to my knowledge. it has been really focused on the shiite gulf countries like saudi arabia -- sunnis in the saudi arabia. saudi arabia, qatar, and others have been very worried that assad will stay in place. they are very opposed to that. turkey as well. they are horrified by the slaughter. i do not think israel is the driving player in syria. that is a different dynamic with iran. trail is the driving power trying to get us and the world community -- israel is the driving power trying to get us and the world community -- host: this is a sidebar. those of us who live in the area probably drive through or by it
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quite often. from 390 five, you can see the washington monument in the background -- from 395, you can see the washington monument in the background. this was designed to be a temporary warehouse. " there is nothing so temporary as buildings that become permanent -- "there is nothing so temporary as buildings that become permanent." this will be torn down to make space for arlington national cemetery. guest: i just read that myself. we are running out his face at arlington. arlington is a national treasure dosh out of space at arlington. arlington is a national treasu re. a little parcel of land, it is an ugly annex. i have been there many times. i think we could probably find a better place for the marine corps. host: it is 43 acres that will
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be turned over to arlington national cemetery. before we run out of time, we have a call from hudson, ohio, on the republican line. caller: i'm joining you from cleveland, ohio. the morning. -- good morning. what leverage do the us or other major powers have in -- they have been struggling for 50 years, searching for freedom from the chinese government. guest: the way the tibetans have to live is a sad state of affairs. quite honestly, we are not going to make it a number one priority because china -- handling the emergence of a rising china is our biggest trick egypt challenge of this
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century -- our biggest strategic challenge of this century. to help the tibetans is to change the nature of chinese political system. we have been pressing for an opening there for a long time, and we made this grand bargain. as they have latched their economy onto a capitalist model, their political system will have to follow as you get a middle class that is demanding more rights, etc. it is a grand bargain we have not seen the end of yet. we will have to wait and see. we are not going to put a lot of our eggs in the basket of defending the tibetans as we have a strategic interest in the making sure that china rises in a stable way -- in making sure that china rises in a stable way that does not upset their national order. host: "no, we are not switzerland. wonderful place, love the
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clocks. but we're america." senator john kerry will likely take over. does he represent? guest: a moderate, realist view of international politics. he has gone on any number of diplomatic peschel missions for the obama administration -- diplomatic special missions for the obama administration and has proven to be a very able statesman. i think he will be confirmed. i suspect he will be a very good secretary of state. he has had experience on the foreign relations committee over the years. you would imagine that your foreign affairs are in good hands with john kerry. host: if a private conversation were to occur between the outgoing and in going secretary of state, what would hillary clinton advised john kerry -- the outgoing and incoming secretary of state would hillary
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clinton advise -- secretary of state, what would hillary clinton advise john kerry? our next caller is from california. caller: would like to comment about president obama's foreign- policy in relation to the -- particularly syria and the other with the arab spring. doctrine ofney doctrin exporting principles and nationbuilding -- they did not really want democracy. they want business. whoever is willing to do business. with the case of libya and egypt, now in syria, the people that want to liberate their
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country'ies, they may be strony dissatisfied with the united states. these people may be enemies of the united states. especially if you look at the muslim brotherhood in egypt. have talked to a lot of syrian -- i have talked to a lot of people in california who support assad's regime. host: james kitfield? it is he is right that about business. the expansion of free trade and free markets but elizabeth is very much part of the american -- and free-market capitalism is very much part of the american last century. we believe this leads to a more stable stable and prosperous international order. he is right about business being at the core dosh -- a more stable and prosperous international order. he is right about business being at the core.
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some americans do support assad, especially those who benefit from his regime. do we have any business getting involved in this? you have to calculate your strategic interests. we have a lot of allies who are becoming destabilized by this and drawn into this conflict. we have a pretty serious interest in the making sure -- in making sure the conflict does not evolve into a larger conflict that brings in lots of our allies alongside terry and -- along sectarian divides. there is a question. it is agonizing. what kind of response do they take to the united states? post >> -- host: james kitfield. his piece is available online. inks for joining us. we will continue the conversation every morning, including tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time.
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we will take a look at the us tax code. will be at thetoopmn table. , shots -- thomas schatz, looking at some of the fiscal cliff legislation. we will touch on hurricanes and the relief efforts and what is in that plan. and jay hancock will take a look at the president's health care law, the affordable health care act and fees we can expect 2013 and 2014. inks for joining us. -- thanks for joining us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]

Washington Journal
CSPAN January 6, 2013 7:00am-10:00am EST

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 32, Us 32, America 18, Assad 15, Syria 14, Mcconnell 12, Boehner 11, Massachusetts 9, United States 8, Mitch Mcconnell 8, Joe Biden 7, Jim Manley 6, Hagel 6, John Boehner 6, James Kitfield 6, China 6, Maryland 6, Libya 6, Iraq 6, U.s. 6
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